Four U.S. Congressmen Urge China’s President to Release Eight Recently Arrested Falun Gong Practitioners
(Minghui.org) Four members of the US Congress wrote to Chinese President Xi Jinping on October 25 urging him to release Ms. Deng Cuiping and seven other Falun Gong practitioners detained in China. Ms. Deng’s mother works at the University of South Florida.
The letter was initiated by Representative Dennis Ross of Florida and co-signed by Representative Bill Johnson of Ohio, Representative David Valadao of California and Representative Gus Bilirakis of Florida.
The letter states, “We, the undersigned Members of the United States Congress, are concerned about the wellbeing of prisoners of conscience in China, particularly Falun Gong practitioners serving time in jails and detention centers for refusing to renounce their belief in Falun Gong. A Florida State resident has implored us to address her concern for her mother and friends who are currently detained in her hometown.”
They listed the eight practitioners in the letter: Ms. Deng Cuiping, mother of Lu Yuanqing of the University of South Florida; Mr. Pu Zhiming, Ms. Li Li, Ms. Qu Shuxian and Ms. Qu Shuqiong (sisters), Ms. Li Qiongzhen, Ms. Qin Liyuan, and Ms. Mu Shaoqiong.
They were arrested for distributing Falun Gong information materials to passers-by. The US representatives urged President Xi to release the seven practitioners being detained for their beliefs.
Ms. Deng Cuiping was arrested on July 24, 2016, and is currently detained in the detention center of Hongta District, Yuxi City, Yunan Province. She was previously imprisoned for three years for her belief in Falun Gong, from 2006 to 2009, during which time she was mentally and physically tortured.
Mr. Pu Zhiming was arrested on July 24, 2016, and is currently detained in the detention center of Eshan in Yuxi City, Yunan Province. He was sentenced to prison terms for his beliefs twice before: A two-year term in 2001 and a four-year term in 2005. His wife, also a Falun Gong practitioner arrested for her beliefs, died as a result of torture in 2009.
Ms. Li Li was arrested on July 24, 2016, and is being held in the detention center of Hongta District, Yuxi City, Yunan Province. Her husband, also a Falun Gong practitioner, is imprisoned in the Number One Prison of Yunan Province. Their seven-year-old son has lost contact with both parents.
Sisters Qu Shuxian and Qu Shuqiong were both arrested on August 3, 2016, due to their belief in Falun Gong. They are being held in the detention center of Hongta District, Yuxi City, Yunan Province.
Ms. Li Qiongzhen and Ms. Qin Liyuan were arrested on July 24, 2016, and are also in the detention center of Hongta District.
Ms. Mu Shaoqiong was arrested on September 1, 2016, and is also being held there.
The letter from the congressmen states: “We understand that the families of the above Falun Gong practitioners were harassed and threatened by the police and local Politics and Law Committee staff. We humbly call upon your government to consider the concerns we have shared on behalf of the families of these practitioners. We respectfully ask that you kindly stop the persecution of all Falun Gong practitioners as well as all prisoners of conscience. We ask you to respect their rights of freedom of their chosen belief and allow them to reunite with their families as soon as possible. We thank you in advance for your consideration of our concerns and please know that we will continue to monitor this situation.”